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Eddy Merckx: The Cannibal Hardcover – 22 Mar 2012

4.3 out of 5 stars 40 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Ebury Press; First Edition edition (22 Mar. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0091943140
  • ISBN-13: 978-0091943141
  • Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 3.3 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 184,757 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"Outstanding" (Times)

"Excellent… filled with yarns, insights and analysis" (Word magazine)

"A compelling portriat of a driven man and his opponents" (David Connett Sunday Express)

"The transformation of Merckx the man into Merckx the deity on two wheels. A superb piece of modern history." (Outdoor Fitness)

"For a sporting icon of the stature of Belgian cyclist Eddy Merckx, you would think that ... there would be very little - if anything - new to reveal. Think again... and pick up a copy of new biography Eddy Merckx, The Cannibal, by Daniel Friebe" (Sydney Morning Herald)

Book Description

'The awesome story of an extraordinary athlete' Mark Cavendish

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As a good summary of the life of the man voted in a number of polls as one of the best sportspeople ever, this is quite good. All the highs and lows are there, and there is an analysis of what drove The Cannibal, and what made him different to those who have gone before and come after him. While Armstrong may be held high in the eyes of many, it must be remember Merckx was succesful in Classics as well as the Grand Tours, whereas Lance just concentrated on the Tour.
Friebe allows for competing analysis from a range of sources, those who competed against Merckx, those who rode with him and those who reported on his career. Of course it helps to know the background to each of Merckx's interactions with those who have been interviewed- obviously some come with more an an agenda and desire to protect their legacies than others, and the author does well to reflect these, without negatively impacting on the validity of their input.

One voice that is missing is Merckx himself who did not want to collaborate with the book (apart from a brief conversation detailed in the epilogue).Friebe insists this is actually more beneficial, but there is still a void there that is not filled. While a certain amount of revisionism is to be expected, I do feel that Merckx's absence is most clearly felt as Friebe attempts to deal with the controversies that surround Eddy. This is no hiagoraphy but it would be good to see what how these events are now viewed by the man himself with hindsight-to get this however the reader would need to seek out the other works Merckx did collaborate on.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Having read 'Part man part bike' I thought I would give this one a go...
Lets just say that the author seems to have allowed his enthusiasm for the subject get the better of him. I regularly found myself losing the thread and having to go back and work out what the author was trying to say. This is why I have knocked off a star but is this such a big problem?
The stories are great and go a long way to explaining why Merckx was such a dominant force and what made him so special. I think that anyone who already knows a bit about him and wants to know more will enjoy this book. He is still a bit of an enigma but this book goes some way to explaining the enigma... a must read....
It is worth the effort to read; Daniel's evident enthusiasm makes this book good!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A great book if you're into cycling. I'd already read 'MERCKX half Man, Half Bike' by William Fortheringham and this book by Daniel Friebe is a good companion to it. You don't really realise just how good Merckx was until you look at his record - he won 5 Tours, 5 Giro's, 1 Vuelta all five of the Monuments (won at least twice) plus thee World Road Race Championships (The Triple Crown in 1974) these are just some of the hundreds of races detailed. The book shows his rise through the ranks and ends with his demise as his physical power wanes - a sad end to a truly great career.

Some of the descriptions of Merckx battles with the likes of Ocana, De Vlaeminck, Zoetemelk, Thevenet,, Van Impe, (themselves great cyclists who would have won lots more races if Merckx had taken up football instead of cycling) are so vivid they make you want to get your bike out and put in some miles.

A great book about a truly great sportsman.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As absoluteb page turner, this is absolutely a must have, if you like cycling. This tells us the most faithful story, so far, about the greatest cyclist that ever existed to date. Our beloved Eddy Merckx. Being a Belgian resident, Eddy is a symbol of national pride. His superiority was so bigger that competitors can't help to feel but shrunk to infinitesimal size, so big was the difference.
Like the book suggests. Eddy put together a number of factors that are difficult to reunite: Physical strength, psychological strength, resolve and willingness to win, all in one! A great book, an eye opener and a must have. One must do a paralel with "Half Man, Half bike", not as good. I have both.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'm not even that interested in cycling and only knew a tiny amount about Mercyx....a friend recommended it. This is a brilliant, fascinating insight to a true legend. A great, great book which I struggled to put down. Very very well written.
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Format: Paperback
“Awesome”, “Outstanding” and “Exhilarating!” it yells from the cover, I have to say I was beginning to think I was reading the wrong book. I am not a cycling enthusiast and have only ever read one cycling related book, by a certain drug cheating, cancer survivor with quite an ego. This book had a peculiar, non-linear style that often took you a while to understand what he was talking about or who he was talking with. If you are not familiar with cycling tactics, terminology and the state of the sport during the featured era then you may struggle.

The writer makes some compelling revelations, like how even back in the 70s drug abuse was rampant in cycling, for example 52% of the 1977 Tour De France starting line up tested positive for banned substances during their career and Merckx was also caught more than once. This book suffers from lack of personal insight and input from Merckx himself. I thought his style was clunky and messy and certainly not effective at making an unknown subject any clearer for the layman.

This isn’t a bad book, it’s clearly been thoroughly researched and benefits from some relevant interviews, all the so called drama and excitement has definitely passed me by, maybe a better grounding in the sporting politics etc would have given me that? This book certainly didn’t spike my interest in the field and it actually read as if it had been translated from another language as it just doesn’t seem to flow very well.
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